Experimental eye research

Expression of ionotropic glutamate receptors, AMPA, kainite andxa0NMDA, in the pigeon retina.

PMID 25983186


Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter in the vertebrate retina. A previous study found vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (vGluT2) mRNA in the pigeon retina, suggesting that bipolar and ganglion cells are glutamatergic. The present study examined the localization of ionotropic glutamate receptors to identify receptor cells in the pigeon retina using in situ hybridization histochemistry. Nine subunits of AMPA receptor (GluA1, GluA2, GluA3, and GluA4), kainate receptor (GluK1, GluK2, and GluK4), and NMDA receptor (GluN1 and GluN2A) were found to be expressed in the inner nuclear layer (INL) and ganglion cell layers. GluA1, GluA2, GluA3, and GluA4 were primarily expressed in the inner half of INL, and the signal intensity was strong for GluA2, GluA3, and GluA4. GluK1 was intensely expressed in the outer half of INL, whereas GluK2 and GluK4 were mainly localized in the inner half of INL. GluN1 and GluN2A were moderately expressed in the inner half of INL. Horizontal cells expressed GluA3 and GluA4, and ganglion cells expressed all subunits examined. These results suggest that the glutamatergic neurotransmission in the pigeon retina is similar to that in mammals.